For the past couple weekends I have gone Christmas shopping with my sister and my Mom. We had a wonderful time both days. I can’t tell you how long it has been since we have had such fun together.
Well, actually I can.
It has been since 2011. That was the year Jesse passed away. That was the last year that we had a great time and looked forward to the future. Jesse wasn’t the only death we walked through, there were several around those years. There was a sadness that was always present when we got together, because we were always aware that people we loved were missing from the group.
This year, something has changed. We have laughed, really laughed. We have enjoyed our time. We have talked about and looked forward to the future…to the days ahead.
I know God is restoring things in my family, I can see the evidence of it. He is restoring hope and the expectancy of good things coming our way. And, I don’t believe it is only happening in my family, I believe it is a season we are in.
A couple days after our first shopping trip, I spent a few hours with Breanne. We too were talking about plans and dreams for the future. Again, I could see God awakening things in my family….DREAMS.
I don’t know why, but when you go through a time of challenges, especially when it is prolonged, you often lose the ability to dream BIG. I have always been a big dreamer. I knew the God I served was big and nothing was impossible with Him.
However, after walking through a few years that challenged everything I knew to be true, I didn’t dream as big or as easy as before.
But PRAISE GOD! Those big dreams are awakening in me again and I am once again excited in my spirit about what lies ahead. I am dreaming BIG once again and my entire family is dreaming big once again. I can’t tell you how much this excites and encourages me.
The Bible says in Proverbs 29:18; “where there is no vision, the people perish.”
One translation says ‘where there is no vision, the people let go.’ This is what I see happening when we go through a challenging season. There are times when we ‘let go’ of all the big things we believed we heard from God. We ‘let go’ of the dreams we once had and begin to settle for something more normal…something smaller. This is not God’s plan. God’s desire is that we hold fast to the confidence we had at the beginning. His desire is that we refuse to let go of all we KNOW He has spoken to us and promised us. His desire is that our faith remain strong.
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Friends, we don’t receive from God simply because it is a promise in the Bible. We receive from God WHEN we lay hold of that promise by faith.
All you have to do is read the book of Hebrews to discover how great a part faith plays in what we receive from God.
The promises of God are for all of us…sadly…we won’t all walk in them. But those who have faith, who refuse to give up, who holds our confidence steadfast to the end…we shall receive all we know is ours through Christ.
Proverbs 13:12 says “hope deferred makes the heart sick.” I know this to be true, I have walked through it. However, it doesn’t stop there, it goes on to say ‘but when the desire comes it is the tree of life.’
I believe we are in a season where hope is rising again, and the desires are on their way. I believe God is coming and His reward is with Him. I feel it in the very atmosphere. God is awakening hope. God is awakening dreams. Will you allow Him to awaken yours today?
Let’s look at one more verse today.
Jeremiah 29:11 says; “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
The key in this scripture to me today is ‘an expected end.’ What are you expecting? What have you released your faith for? Today, ask God to renew and restore your ability to dream big and to EXPECT a good end to this year. That’s my prayer…for me and for you.
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